Organon of the medical Art

Language
English
Type
Paperback
Publisher
Birdcage Books
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One of the most important books ever written on homeopathic and holistic medicine. – Andrew Weil M.D.,

Author of Natural Health, Natural Medicine Recent studies show that 1/3 of Americans (and fully 1/2 of Europeans) are now visiting alternative healthcare providers. Americans are currently spending more of their own money on alternative healthcare than on conventional medical treatment. Leading the charge and the current sea change in the ways Americans approach healthcare is the homeopathic philosophy of curing disease.

The Organon of the Medical Art by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, first published in 1842, has long been recognized as one of the most important books ever written on the homeopathic approach to health, disease and medical care. Dr. Hahnemann, who first pioneered the homeopathic system of medicine, clearly explains how homeopathy works and how it differs from conventional western medicine.

This brilliant new translation of the Organon of the Medical Art makes Hahnemann’s philosophy available, for the first time, to anyone wanting a better understanding of homeopathic medicine and its revolutionary approach to the cure of disease. With the release of this new paperback edition, the Organon of the Medical Art is now accessible to the general public. (The new translation initially appeared in hardback in 1996 but was only available through homeopathic booksellers.) The Organon explains why homeopathy is not just an alternative therapy, but a revolutionary system of medicine that approaches the cure of disease in a radical new way. The Organon intersects with a growing public awareness that the current variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs may temporarily eliminate symptoms but not truly cure a disease. Homeopathy goes beneath the surface to treat the whole person, strengthening the natural immune abilities and general health vs. further weakening the immune system through dependence on various medicinal drugs.

The Organon includes chapters on the following subjects:

- Flaws in traditional medicine’s approach to curing disease

- Reasons why homeopathic medicine can cure diseases that have not been successfully treated by traditional western medicine

- Use of homeopathic medicines for the cure of both acute and chronic diseases

- Summary of the principles of homeopathic cure

About the Editor Wenda Brewster O’Reilly, Ph.D. holds a master’s degree from Harvard University and a doctorate in education from Stanford. She conducted research on women’s health care and childbirth practices as an affiliated scholar at Stanford University’s Institute for Women and Gender. In her role as Executive Director of The Birth Place, a California out-of-hospital childbirth center, she worked closely with community groups and government agencies, advocating change in the way medicine is practiced and understood. Wenda lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is editor and publisher of Birdcage Press. Birdcage Press is a small, independent publisher based in Palo Alto, California, dedicated to the creation of thoughtful and accessible books and games that bring classic knowledge to light.

More Information
ISBN9781889613000
AuthorWenda Brewster O'Reilly
TypePaperback
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2001-11-30
Pages407
PublisherBirdcage Books
Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Julian Winston

The Organon of Hahnemann is the cornerstone of homeopathy. In it, Hahnemann takes us on a philosophical journey through the age-old questions of health, disease, and healing, speculates on the ideal system to achieve these ends, and describes the system he found which meets these criteria. Along the way he answers most questions any homeopath could have.

If one were stranded on a desert island with this book, one could develop the unique materia medica that would be found on the island, and learn how to apply these substances as healing agents. During Hahnemann's lifetime, the book went through six successive editions-each one honing the system just a bit more. But through a quirk of history Hahnemann's last edition of 1842 was unseen until 1921 when it was brought to light by Richard Haehl, "translated" into English by William Boericke, and published- finally-by Boericke and Tafel.

What is important for us to understand now is that when most of the homeopaths of the late 19th and early 20th century (Kent, Close, Fincke, Boger, Gladwin, etc.) were learning this book, they were working, generally, with the 5th edition of 1833 that was translated by Robert Ellis Dudgeon in 1849. Even when Boericke obtained the 6th edition in 1921, his "translation" consisted of annotating the changes that Hahnemann made to the 5th edition and using the Dudgeon translation as the base text.

Until the advent in 1982 of the Kunzli, Naude, and Pendleton translation from the original 6th edition, we were all using a translation that was done in the middle of the last century The result is that we were reading a book that was translated from the ponderous German of the times of Goethe into the ponderous English of the Victorian era.

And while the Kunzli, Naude, Pendleton translation brought us one step closer to what Hahnemann was saying, it did not translate the long Introduction-which places the work into historical context. The most complete Organon to date is probably the one published by Haug and edited by Josef Schmidt-who carefully transcribed the total text of the 6th edition. But this work, though complete, is still in German.

This latest edition being reviewed here, by Wenda Brewster O'Reilly and Steven Decker, is the first English translation that has looked at the whole book, and studied what is being said, as well as HOW it was being said.

Says Wenda of the Dudgeon translation: "I thought I had difficulty understanding his concepts because the sentence structure was so difficult. That was true to some extent, but now I realize that a lot of the obscurity was in the translation."

Both the Dudgeon/Boericke and the Kunzli translations were not literal but "conceptual"-they got the main point across but with language that left out the color and flavor of Hahnemann's words. While the older editions have literally translated Hahnemann's grammar but not his words, the new edition by Decker and O'Reilly has done the reverse- the grammar is easy and modern and the words are a literal translation of Hahnemann's. As the authors say in the introduction:

"At every turn, translators are faced with the problem of choosing between translating a particular word consistently throughout a text or translating each word in the text according to context. Previous translators have opted primarily for translation according to context. However, one way in which readers come to understand Hahneman's precise meaning is by seeing how he uses certain key words in various contexts. Steven and I approached this problem from different directions. Steven drew on a wide selection of words in the English language to find a particular word that could span the various meanings of a given German word. We then worked together to define key terms in the Glossary so that readers can fully understand the nuances to be associated with particular terms. In other words, through the Glossary definitions, we are giving readers the opportunity to assign the full meaning of a given German word to the English word being used to translate it. One example is the use of 'malady' throughout the text. 'Malady' is being used to translate the German word Uebel, which has two meanings in German; it means both illness and evil. There is no word in English that immediately conveys both of these meanings to the reader. 'Malady' has been assigned the task of conveying both of these meanings and has been defined as such in the Glossary ... Another frequently-encountered problem in moving from one language to another is that different languages carry different ways of looking at something, conceptually dividing things into smaller or larger units. Where one language may use several words, another language may use only one. For example, English has the terms 'curing' and 'healing' which originally had different meanings. 'Cure' referred to medical intervention while 'healing' referred to the human organism's own efforts to recover from disease or injury German, however, has only one term (Heil-) that covers both healing and cure, and which can refer to anything that is remedial or therapeutic. Any such differences between Hahnemann's original terminology and the translation are discussed in the Glossary. As a result, readers will be able to better know and understand what Hahnemann wrote and what he meant."

Another example: the German word "Wesen" refers to a dynamic entity which is the essence of something. Even though it can't be touched, a Wesen is real; it has a substantial presence. Hahnemann uses the word in reference to the essence of a disease and the essence of a medicine. He also refers to the vital force as a Wesen. He wants the reader to understand that these three things are all of the same nature. This idea is lost when Dudgeon translates it in Paragraph 7 as the internal essence of disease, as an immaterial being (in Paragraph 10), as a thing (referring to disease in Paragraph 13), as the inner nature of medicine (in Paragraph 20), as the curative principles in medicine (Paragraph 21), and as the inner nature of life in health and disease (paragraph 54). Yet, they are all the same word!

Then, there is knowledge that is an intellectual knowledge (wissen) and the knowledge that is deeply personal and gained through experience (kennen). Dudgeon translates both as "to know" whereas they are two different things.

So this new translation proceeded from a literal (in German) to a literal in English. The first paragraph reads:
Des Arztes hochster und einzuger Beruf ist, kranke Menschen gesund zu machen, was man Heilen nennt.

The literal translation is:
The physicians highest and only calling is [the] sick [humans] sound to make, which one curing calls.

And the final translation becomes:
The physician's highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.

Furthermore, the text has been made easier to understand by the addition of headings and sub-heads (the paragraphs contain a summary at the beginning, i.e., Paragraph 8 is summarized as: "When all the symptoms of the disease have been lifted, the disease is also cured in the interior"); the sections are named ("Understanding Disease: Paragraph 72-81"); when a paragraph has several "ifs" and "therefores," the key points are numbered to make it easier to understand; there is an 84-page Glossary; and a 39-page comprehensive index is included.

The proof, however, is in the reading and use of the book. I received a preliminary manuscript several months ago and have been using it to teach Organon to the second year class at the Wellington College of Homoeopathy in New Zealand, With any paragraph, I can have the students read it from the Dudgeon/ Boericke translation or from the Kunzli translation, and then I read it from the Decker/O'Reilly translation. The response is always the same: "Why that's so clear! Why didn't they (Dudgeon/Boericke/ Kunzli) say that?"

This is the translation we have all been waiting for. It was worth the wait and certainly worth the price. Steven Decker and Wenda Brewster O'Reilly have done a great service for the English speakers of homeopathy. A new standard has been set.

HOMEOPATHY TODAY DECEMBER 1996

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Homeopathy

Reviewer Ahmed N. Currim M.D., Ph.D.

Introduction
This remarkable work is obviously a labor of love and passion. Dr. O'Reilly and Mr. Decker have brought out an Organon to satisfy not only beginning students of Homeopathy, but also those (practicing for a long time) who have read and reread and studied carefully the Master's teachings - often with much confusion. The soul of our beloved Master must delight and rejoice with this translation which really does justice to his immortal work.

Hahnemann wrote in a style more suited to a mathematician or logician, with one statement in another in another, modified by conditionals; e.g., If A, then B, provided also C and provided also non-D, etc. While this makes for a very logical text, it can cause confusion to those unfamiliar with logic and, even for those who are experts with logic, often necessitates writing the statements in symbolic form. In fact, this reviewer has many times (over the years) been confused reading the Organon, and only when he finally rewrote every paragraph using logic symbols, did the cloud of confusion clear and the light of Hahnemann's sun shine forth in its glory to illumine the way.

The editing and annotating by Dr. O'Reilly would have obviated all this for she has done most of it. So we can now take this Organon and clearly grasp what the Master wanted to teach us.

Layout
The book is extremely well laid out. Each page has a wide margin on the outer side and a narrower one on the inner side. This is a great relaxation on the eyes making the reading pleasant (and allows the reader to put his own notes in the wider margin). The print is crisp and the spacing between the lines again is easy on the eyes.

A short summary of the paragraph in bold print is very helpful and allows a quick review and maintains the flow of ideas.

Classification
The 291 paragraphs (abbreviated §) of the Organon are divided into 12 chapters. Each chapter is then subdivided into sections. For example, §§ 1 to 71 are collected in Chapter 1, entitled PRINCIPLES OF CURE, while §§ 1 to 7 form a section entitled "The highest ideal of a cure."

This method was used by Drs. Pierre Schmidt and Jost Kunzli in the French translation of the Sixth Edition, and it proved very helpful to the reviewer in previous years because in this way the Organon is not so overwhelming and is, in fact, broken up into simpler blocks that makes for fuller, easier and more comprehensive learning.

Review
I was very happy to see this classification because I had used the Schmidt / Kunzli classification from the French translation and put it into my notes and my copy of the Boericke / Dudgeon sixth edition to facilitate understanding of the Organon.

The table of contents lays out this classification very well, except that Hahnemann's paragraph numbers are not listed for each section, which I believe would make referring to a particular paragraph more convenient. For example, I would have liked to see the section DISSIMILAR DISEASE in Chapter 1 have §§ 35-42 written next to it in the table of contents. Many of us learned the Organon by the paragraph number (and journal references often only give the paragraph number of the Organon). However, a 12 page synopsis (that originally appeared as Hahnemann's original table of contents in the sixth edition) is also included.

Translation
This is a new translation by Steven Decker and this translation is more literal versus the more conceptual translations done previously. In a literal translation an attempt is made to have all the significant words in a sentence carry not only the same primary meaning, but also the same connotations for the reader. This is much harder to do than a conceptual translation in which concepts are identified in each phrase and then expressed in English.

In this translation many paragraphs of the Organon have the original German word which is then amplified in a wonderful glossary.

Example 1: The German word Wesen (pronounced VAY-zun, rhymes with raisin) is translated as Wesen and explained as a dynamic entity, such as: 1.) the life principle or vital force of man (§§ 9,10 etc.), 2.) the essence of disease (§ 7), 3.) the vital forces of medicines (§§ 20,21). Hahnemann wants us to understand that the three objects above mentioned are all of the same nature; they are all dynamic; i.e., "spiritlike" or "virtual" (sense used in physics, such as an electric field or magnetic field or gravitational field). These Wesens are all operating on the same plane of existence. This idea of sameness in the Wesen of the vital force of man, Wesen (essence) of disease, or Wesen or vital force of medicine is lost when translations translate the Wesen of disease and medicines with one word and the Wesen of man (vital force of man) with another word. In fact the Boericke / Dudgeon translation translates Wesen as 1.) the internal essence of disease (§ 7); 2.) immaterial being (§ 10); 3.) a thing (reference to disease, § 13); 4.) the inner nature of medicine (§ 20 ); 5.) the curative principle in medicine (§ 21 ); 6.) the inner nature of life in health or disease-(§ 54), etc. Yet all these appear as Wesen in the original German.

Example 2: Befallment (from Zufall = coincidence; zufallen = to fall out) is used in § 86 in Hahnemann's guidelines for case and history taking (whereas the Boericke and Kunzli translations use the word "symptom"). It is explained in the glossary that "befallment" includes that which falls to a person, including accidents, coincidences, phenomena and symptoms (felt over a period of time or periodically), etc., as well those accidents that happen once in a lifetime (example: stroke, injury, etc.). In this we see that the focus of § 86 now becomes much broader. Indeed, the Master teaches us to look not just at "symptoms" (as the Boericke or Kunzli translations bring forth), but at phenomena in the patient's life in order to arrive at an understanding and a clear view of his disease. This is a wonderful literal translation of the noun "Zufall," which now brings out more clearly a more wholistic meaning of the word "symptom."

The entire translation is full of these exciting "new" discoveries (even to experienced readers of the Organon), and, thus, through this translation of Mr. Decker a deeper understanding of the Organon will come to us. We should all be very grateful to Mr. Decker for the literal translation and to Dr. O'Reilly for the text adaptation and editing, and for the Glossary and Index of this new Organon.

Errors and Omissions in the Boericke / Dudgeon and Kunzli Translations
One will discover much to one's chagrin that the Boericke translation contains errors and omissions. For example, Boericke omitted footnotes to §§ 220, 256, 265 that were added by Hahnemann in the correction of the fifth edition. (These footnotes are found in the Kunzli translation.) The point is that Boericke's translation of the sixth edition is 85% of Dudgeon's translation of the fifth edition unchanged and 15% of the changes made by Hahnemann in creating the sixth edition from the fifth edition. Thus, Boericke only translated the new material (that Hahnemann added to, or changed in, the fifth edition) and Boericke did this with certain errors and omissions. This translation has avoided all these pitfalls.

That Boericke's translation had errors was pointed out in Kunzli, but it was not specified where these shortcomings were; also Kunzli made no comparison of his English translation with his French translation (with Schmidt). Furthermore, Hahnemann's introduction is missing in the Kunzli translation. This omission is regrettable since that introduction not only gives a good flavor of the darkness and evil ways of medicine as it was practiced in Hahnemann's time (and also points out some of these same qualities of modern allopathic medicine today in 1996), but it also contains homeopathic gems of real value to the homeopathic practitioner useful in his daily practice even in 1996. Again, it is delightful that Dr. O'Reilly and Mr. Decker have included this valuable introduction of the Master, thereby preserving his immortal work in its totality for posterity.

Glossary
The glossary contains every significant word in the translation and gives the German, Latin or Greek word from which it was translated and the definition of that word. This is truly a fine feature because it allows the reader to look up a word in the glossary, find from which German word it is translated and the meaning of that word, thereby tracking Hahnemann's use of the term, and come to his own conclusion about why and when he used that word. 'This glossary thereby enables a deeper understanding of the Organon to the non-German speaking reader.

Index
This is a 40 page index and it is obvious that Dr. O'Reilly thoroughly enjoyed compiling it. The numbers in the index refer to page numbers, not to the paragraph(§) numbers. A note to that effect should appear on every page in the index. I would have liked it better if the references in the index would have been to the paragraphs as this would enable the reader to use this index more conveniently to compare various transiations of the organon. The index to the Schmidt / Kunzli French translation has such a plan. However this index is a very fertile one and has most of the important concepts in it. The vigilant reader will no doubt add to it as he reads and rereads the Organon.

Conclusion
Here then is a literal translation (at least as literal as possible) of the Organon of the Medical Art of Samuel Hahnemann which will satisfy the most erudite scholar, but what is more is that this O'Reilly / Decker translation of the Organon, if we study it over and over, will deepen our understanding of Homeopathy and make us better healers. Indeed, it will bring delight to our patients and to us. We will thus be "thrice blessed": 1) by the Creator of all good, 2) by our patients, and 3) by our Master as his soul leads us to greater heights of healing.

Many, many thanks to Wenda and Steven for a work done with love and passion.

JAIH Spring 1997, Vol. 90, No. 1

This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.

Reviewed by Jean Pierre Jansen, The Netherlands

This book is a completely revised translation of the 6th edition of the Organon.

Editing method
Steven Decker has made a new, complete translation of the Organon, choosing English words that are as close as possible to Hahnemann's original words and at the same time preserving the original imagery, colour and texture. He is qualified for this work because he is well acquainted with the German language of Hahnemann's time and with his thoughts on philosophy, which shares many elements with the philosophy of J.W von Goethe and others. (The foreword mentions S.T. Coleridge.)

Each German word was translated on a word by word basis, and then a second version was made that follows the structure of Hahnemann's sentences as closely as possible. Wenda Brewster then takes over the final translation by adapting Steven Decker's text into a modern English grammatical structure. Hahnemann's condensed style of sentence structure was expanded into a more intelligible style on many places in the text. Furthermore, she has clarified the formal structure of the Organon by dividing it into chapters and divisions. She has added interpretations of the texts and editor's footnotes as well.

An important part of the book is the added glossary which explains the meaning of specific English terms in the translation, by giving the corresponding German words and an explanation of their meaning. This is a fine new feature in the history of the Organon. The glossary also includes descriptions of the concepts that underlie the Organon. It gives the specific connotations that one needs while reading the Organon.

An extensive index of words and concepts makes the book accessible for daily reference. Glossary and index together occupy 117 pages!

A. von Lippe once said that the Organon never failed to give him advice in difficult situations. Now this can become a reality for us, normal practitioners too.

This is one of the books I've been waiting for for a long time. Having compared a modern Dutch translation, Dudgeon and Boericke's translation, and a German copy of the fifth edition I knew that there are many differences between these versions. Later on I saw that some ideas and concepts in Hahnemann's original writings have not come to the attention of the average reader and student of the Organon. I concluded that a mind as precise and literate as Hahnemann's would have thought about the meaning of every single sentence on more than one level.

The first example of this is the formulation of paragraph 1. Dudgeon and Boericke (1921) give: 'The physician's high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed'. In my Dutch translation the word 'mission' is translated as 'calling', which I found a better translation of the German word 'Beruf'. (The German word 'rufen' means 'to call'.) Hahnemann apparently found it important to convey that the motivation of any physician should be of a surrendering nature: 'mission' sounds to forceful and would lead to fanaticism, 'calling' sounded better, because it contains the idea that the motivation of the physician is something that comes over him or her, yet at the same time gives total direction to his professional life, because inner principles are guiding him. It is a matter of being passive in an active way. This was the moment that I realised that Hahnemann's use of words and concepts was very much based on an awareness (albeit in his own words) of the concept of yin and yang, of 'male' and 'female' energies, or whatever terms one would like to use.

The book under review here fills the gap that was staring at me.

The Organon as a curative agent
An example of the use of the glossary: the word thorough is used where Hahnemann used the word 'grundlich', which means 'ground-like, from the ground on'. Then you can see that he uses words like 'to lift the disease', or, to find out 'the fundamental cause', which 'mostly rests upon a chronic miasm'.

Because there is no good English translation of this German word 'grundlich', the glossary gives the exact connotation which the reader should have when reading this word. Each glossary item refers to the place in the text where it is used. This enables the reader to trace Hahnemann's concepts to their fullest extent throughout the Organon. In this 'thorough' example one sees that Hahnemann uses a vertical image to convey the idea of totality of disease. Maybe he came to this image by his conception of the phenomenon of suppression, which has an underlying vertical image as well. When used in this way the translation opens the way to a much more intimate exchange with the ideas of the Organon.

This really appeals to me, because we can find a parallel in our understanding of the remedies. Remedy pictures can imprint their subtle differences on our mind, our feeling and our understanding in the same way. Some of our best Materia Medica texts convey the inner structure of a remedy through an intricate use of language. The only way we could better that is by having the experience of seeing live patients. The effect on me when I study the Organon this way is, that it brings excitement, trust in the perfection of Creation, and strength when I am struggling to find the totality of the suffering of the patient. In this sense Hahnemann has created in the Organon not only a doctrine which we can apply by using our intellect, but a kind of remedy as well, because it enables us to make contact with others levels of our sensory faculties. It can cure the homoeopath's delusion, that intellectual understanding on its own is enough to heal the sick.

A much richer Organon
Music is a particular important subject for me: the use of the word 'harmonious' in paragraph 9 and 16 is well known. The apotheosis of this image in the Organon is of course the footnote of paragraph 259, where he speaks of 'The softest tones of a distant flute...'. Steven Decker has shown that the Dudgeon and Boericke translation uses 'derangement' instead of 'mistunement' (Verstimmung) of the vital force, and uses 'altering' or 'affecting' for 'alteration of the tuning' (Umstimmung), and 'alternative powers' instead of 'retuning forces' (Umstimmungskrafte).

With the use of a musical image Hahnemann presents the idea that the action of the remedies (or any true healing force) is similar to the effects of music on the listener. A remedy has a certain vibration that influences the vibration of the mistuned vital force. In an interview with Wenda Brewster she refers to George Vithoulkas' idea of vibration in his book 'The Science of Homoeopathy', and to the concepts that are coming up in modern physics. One might think of the transition between energy, which is a.o. described in terms of frequency and amplitude, and matter, as formulated in the famous formula E=mc2, and compare this with the transition from matter to energy during the process of potentisation. The inner consistency of the ideas presented in the Organon, as seen in the examples above, shows us that homoeopathy is rooted in a profound insight in the life process.

This inner consistency is created partly by a consistent use of the same images in different places. The translation gives access to the multi level structures in the Organon.

To me this translation supports the idea that a formal language and words can encompass truth. The logic of materialism is only consistent on the intellectual level. The Organon, on the other hand, demonstrates that a logic that encompasses more levels of experience is possible. The history of philosophy shows that several men in search of truth have despaired because they could only conclude that a consistent logic, connected to all their levels of experience, was impossible. In this light Hahnemann's work is unique in the medical literature and this book opens a door to this insight.

There is so much to tell about this. This new edition of the Organon has opened my heart to homoeopathic philosophy even more. It shows that the Organon is written like the homoeopathic method itself, with a firm view of the totality while giving full attention to every detail. Webster O'Reilly and Decker have, in a scholarly manner, combined their homoeopathic and translating abilities to create an inspiring new edition.

Homoeopathic Links, Spring 1997

This book review is reprinted from the British Homoeopathic Journal Volume 86, July 1997, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.

Or means light in Hebrew-this new edition of the Organon truly shines brightly amongst the English translations of Hahnemann's masterpiece. It is the fruit of the labour of Wenda Brewster O'Reilly and Steven Decker. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly has a doctorate in Psychological Studies from the University of Stanford. She has conducted research on women's health care and childbirth practices as an affiliated scholar of Stanford's Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is currently working as researcher and writer in homoeopathy. During her homoeopathic studies she fell in love with the Organon and made the analysing of the structure of this work her project on her course at the Dynamis School for Homoeopathy in London. This class project grew into a book.

Initially O'Reilly set out in writing her guide to the Organon using the translations by Dudgeon/Boericke and Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton. She wished to act as an editor for Hahnemann, giving the Organon the external structure that would make it more digestible for modem readers: chapters, a table of contents, an index and editorial comments. Comparing the translations of Dudgeon/Boericke and Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton she noticed numerous incongruities, as well as errors and omissions in the Dudgeon/Boericke translation, resulting from Boericke's translation of the changes made to the 5th edition. Dudgeon had made a good translation of the 5th edition. Hahnemann created his 6th edition by making hand-written changes to this. Boericke then used Dudgeon's translation, only altering and adding what Hahnemann changed, making numerous serious errors in the process. O'Reilly then relied on the Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton translation as it was conceptually correct. (Grimes MK. Interview with Dr Wenda Brewster O'Reilly. The American Homeopath 1995; 2: 110-115.)

In her edited and annotated version of the Organon O'Reilly has altered the text layout. She retained the format of paragraphs, breaking the text down into topic-related chapters. Long sentences are broken down, making Hahnemann's text more accessible. Editorial comments in the margins capture the essence of each paragraph and footnote. A comprehensive index makes navigation through the Organon in search of related topics and key words easy. Within the text, editorial clarifications give further explanations and cross-references to other paragraphs and footnotes. The number of a footnote in the main text coincides with the paragraph in which it appears.

As O'Reilly's understanding of German was limited, she turned to Steven Decker, amongst others, for guidance in her work. Steven Decker, an independent researcher and scholar with expertise in German and the philosophy of Hahnemann's contemporaries, notably Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, agreed to produce a completely new translation. He used the original 6th edition, which is in the Library of the Homoeopathic Foundation of California at the University of California in San Francisco. Using the original manuscript enabled Decker to see where additions have been made by subsequent editors and translators. Apart from Hahnemann's handwriting, others can be distinguished, 5 of them directly affecting the text. Some of the hand-written changes were clearly done under Hahnemann's supervision, as he hired scribes to update the 6th edition, and occasionally altered words in these passages in his own handwriting. Josef M. Schmidt published a text-critical edition of the Organon in German in 1992 (Haug Verlag), giving meticulous account of the alterations and additions. These additions (mainly Haehl's) were not included in Decker's translation unless they replaced lost or damaged sections and were consistent with Hahnemann's views. The original translation, which has each word of English above the German counterpart, will be available in computer format. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly worked closely with Decker to transform the text into clear modern English.

Overall it is a very successful translation, capturing the beauty of Hahnemann's language and expression much more closely than previous editions. In contrast to the most widely used Dudgeon/Boericke and Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton translations, Decker's translation is literal and not conceptual. Much thought was given to essential words, and where an important term could not be clearly translated from the German, it was retained in the text such as Wesen (essence, substance, creature, living thing, nature, entity), Geist (spirit) or Gemuet (emotional mind). This may initially disturb the flow of reading for the English- speaking reader unaccustomed to the German language. The German term is translated and explained in the excellent glossary together with other key words, illuminating the German word and illustrating its full depth.

My major criticism of the translation is the rather disjointed rendering of the word Heilkunst (literally healing art) as 'medical art' and Heilkuenstler (healing artist) as 'medical art practitioner'. Praiseworthy is the inclusion of the term 'art' both in the title and the text, as this is true to Hahnemann's work, and has not been taken into consideration by previous translators. I feel translating Heil with medical is moving away from Hahnemann's intentions. The word Medizin is commonly used in German, as well as in the Organon, but Hahnemann distinctly chose Heilkunst to distinguish his art from the current medical practice and Heilkuenstler from the physicians who merely practised medicine.

Apart from this the text is generally true to the German original, retaining its artistic quality, for example the musical theme running through the entire book. Hahnemann refers to the Verstimmung-mistunement of the vital force and its over-tuning Umstimmung through dynamic medicine. We can see a fine example of this in § 16 on comparing the German original with the different translations:

alle solche krankhafte Verstimmungen (die Krankheiten) koennen auch durch den Heilkuenstler nicht anders von ihr entfemt werden, als durch geistartige (dynamische, virtuelle) Umstimmungs-Kraefte der dienlichen Arzneien. (1992 Schmidt edition of the Organon)

all such morbid derangements (diseases) cannot be removed from it by the physician in any other way than by the spirit-like (dynamic, virtual) alterative powers of the serviceable medicines. (Boericke)

The physician can remove these pathological untunements (diseases) only by acting on our spirit-like vital force with medicines having equally spirit-like dynamic effects. (Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton)

the only way the medical-art practitioner can remove such morbid mistunements (the diseases) from the dynamis is by the spirit-like (dynamic, virtual) tunement-altering energies of the serviceable medicines. (O'Reilly and Decker)

It would have increased the value of this edition as a text book to include a brief historical overview of Hahnemann's life, which I particularly valued and enjoyed in the German version of Haehl's edition. This sets the tune of the beginning of the symphony that grew into Hahnemann's magnum opus and homoeopathy as a healing art.

The book is beautifully laid out. Paragraphs, footnotes and editorial comments are clearly distinguished, and are very pleasing to the eye. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly and Steven Decker have accomplished a tremendous task with an excellent translation, arrangement of the text and inclusion of a glossary, which is a real treasure containing many jewels. Through their work they have unlocked and revealed the depth and beauty of Hahnemann's work of genius for the English reader. It is a 'must to read' for all homoeopaths, as it truly captures what Hahnemann wanted to convey.

GABRIELA C. RIEBERER

British Homeopathic Journal
Volume 86, July 1997

Review

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Homeopathy

Reviewed by Julian Winston

The Organon of Hahnemann is the cornerstone of homeopathy. In it, Hahnemann takes us on a philosophical journey through the age-old questions of health, disease, and healing, speculates on the ideal system to achieve these ends, and describes the system he found which meets these criteria. Along the way he answers most questions any homeopath could have.

If one were stranded on a desert island with this book, one could develop the unique materia medica that would be found on the island, and learn how to apply these substances as healing agents. During Hahnemann's lifetime, the book went through six successive editions-each one honing the system just a bit more. But through a quirk of history Hahnemann's last edition of 1842 was unseen until 1921 when it was brought to light by Richard Haehl, "translated" into English by William Boericke, and published- finally-by Boericke and Tafel.

What is important for us to understand now is that when most of the homeopaths of the late 19th and early 20th century (Kent, Close, Fincke, Boger, Gladwin, etc.) were learning this book, they were working, generally, with the 5th edition of 1833 that was translated by Robert Ellis Dudgeon in 1849. Even when Boericke obtained the 6th edition in 1921, his "translation" consisted of annotating the changes that Hahnemann made to the 5th edition and using the Dudgeon translation as the base text.

Until the advent in 1982 of the Kunzli, Naude, and Pendleton translation from the original 6th edition, we were all using a translation that was done in the middle of the last century The result is that we were reading a book that was translated from the ponderous German of the times of Goethe into the ponderous English of the Victorian era.

And while the Kunzli, Naude, Pendleton translation brought us one step closer to what Hahnemann was saying, it did not translate the long Introduction-which places the work into historical context. The most complete Organon to date is probably the one published by Haug and edited by Josef Schmidt-who carefully transcribed the total text of the 6th edition. But this work, though complete, is still in German.

This latest edition being reviewed here, by Wenda Brewster O'Reilly and Steven Decker, is the first English translation that has looked at the whole book, and studied what is being said, as well as HOW it was being said.

Says Wenda of the Dudgeon translation: "I thought I had difficulty understanding his concepts because the sentence structure was so difficult. That was true to some extent, but now I realize that a lot of the obscurity was in the translation."

Both the Dudgeon/Boericke and the Kunzli translations were not literal but "conceptual"-they got the main point across but with language that left out the color and flavor of Hahnemann's words. While the older editions have literally translated Hahnemann's grammar but not his words, the new edition by Decker and O'Reilly has done the reverse- the grammar is easy and modern and the words are a literal translation of Hahnemann's. As the authors say in the introduction:

"At every turn, translators are faced with the problem of choosing between translating a particular word consistently throughout a text or translating each word in the text according to context. Previous translators have opted primarily for translation according to context. However, one way in which readers come to understand Hahneman's precise meaning is by seeing how he uses certain key words in various contexts. Steven and I approached this problem from different directions. Steven drew on a wide selection of words in the English language to find a particular word that could span the various meanings of a given German word. We then worked together to define key terms in the Glossary so that readers can fully understand the nuances to be associated with particular terms. In other words, through the Glossary definitions, we are giving readers the opportunity to assign the full meaning of a given German word to the English word being used to translate it. One example is the use of 'malady' throughout the text. 'Malady' is being used to translate the German word Uebel, which has two meanings in German; it means both illness and evil. There is no word in English that immediately conveys both of these meanings to the reader. 'Malady' has been assigned the task of conveying both of these meanings and has been defined as such in the Glossary ... Another frequently-encountered problem in moving from one language to another is that different languages carry different ways of looking at something, conceptually dividing things into smaller or larger units. Where one language may use several words, another language may use only one. For example, English has the terms 'curing' and 'healing' which originally had different meanings. 'Cure' referred to medical intervention while 'healing' referred to the human organism's own efforts to recover from disease or injury German, however, has only one term (Heil-) that covers both healing and cure, and which can refer to anything that is remedial or therapeutic. Any such differences between Hahnemann's original terminology and the translation are discussed in the Glossary. As a result, readers will be able to better know and understand what Hahnemann wrote and what he meant."

Another example: the German word "Wesen" refers to a dynamic entity which is the essence of something. Even though it can't be touched, a Wesen is real; it has a substantial presence. Hahnemann uses the word in reference to the essence of a disease and the essence of a medicine. He also refers to the vital force as a Wesen. He wants the reader to understand that these three things are all of the same nature. This idea is lost when Dudgeon translates it in Paragraph 7 as the internal essence of disease, as an immaterial being (in Paragraph 10), as a thing (referring to disease in Paragraph 13), as the inner nature of medicine (in Paragraph 20), as the curative principles in medicine (Paragraph 21), and as the inner nature of life in health and disease (paragraph 54). Yet, they are all the same word!

Then, there is knowledge that is an intellectual knowledge (wissen) and the knowledge that is deeply personal and gained through experience (kennen). Dudgeon translates both as "to know" whereas they are two different things.

So this new translation proceeded from a literal (in German) to a literal in English. The first paragraph reads:
Des Arztes hochster und einzuger Beruf ist, kranke Menschen gesund zu machen, was man Heilen nennt.

The literal translation is:
The physicians highest and only calling is [the] sick [humans] sound to make, which one curing calls.

And the final translation becomes:
The physician's highest and only calling is to make the sick healthy, to cure, as it is called.

Furthermore, the text has been made easier to understand by the addition of headings and sub-heads (the paragraphs contain a summary at the beginning, i.e., Paragraph 8 is summarized as: "When all the symptoms of the disease have been lifted, the disease is also cured in the interior"); the sections are named ("Understanding Disease: Paragraph 72-81"); when a paragraph has several "ifs" and "therefores," the key points are numbered to make it easier to understand; there is an 84-page Glossary; and a 39-page comprehensive index is included.

The proof, however, is in the reading and use of the book. I received a preliminary manuscript several months ago and have been using it to teach Organon to the second year class at the Wellington College of Homoeopathy in New Zealand, With any paragraph, I can have the students read it from the Dudgeon/ Boericke translation or from the Kunzli translation, and then I read it from the Decker/O'Reilly translation. The response is always the same: "Why that's so clear! Why didn't they (Dudgeon/Boericke/ Kunzli) say that?"

This is the translation we have all been waiting for. It was worth the wait and certainly worth the price. Steven Decker and Wenda Brewster O'Reilly have done a great service for the English speakers of homeopathy. A new standard has been set.

HOMEOPATHY TODAY DECEMBER 1996

This book review is reprinted with the permission of the American Institute of Homeopathy

Reviewer Ahmed N. Currim M.D., Ph.D.

Introduction
This remarkable work is obviously a labor of love and passion. Dr. O'Reilly and Mr. Decker have brought out an Organon to satisfy not only beginning students of Homeopathy, but also those (practicing for a long time) who have read and reread and studied carefully the Master's teachings - often with much confusion. The soul of our beloved Master must delight and rejoice with this translation which really does justice to his immortal work.

Hahnemann wrote in a style more suited to a mathematician or logician, with one statement in another in another, modified by conditionals; e.g., If A, then B, provided also C and provided also non-D, etc. While this makes for a very logical text, it can cause confusion to those unfamiliar with logic and, even for those who are experts with logic, often necessitates writing the statements in symbolic form. In fact, this reviewer has many times (over the years) been confused reading the Organon, and only when he finally rewrote every paragraph using logic symbols, did the cloud of confusion clear and the light of Hahnemann's sun shine forth in its glory to illumine the way.

The editing and annotating by Dr. O'Reilly would have obviated all this for she has done most of it. So we can now take this Organon and clearly grasp what the Master wanted to teach us.

Layout
The book is extremely well laid out. Each page has a wide margin on the outer side and a narrower one on the inner side. This is a great relaxation on the eyes making the reading pleasant (and allows the reader to put his own notes in the wider margin). The print is crisp and the spacing between the lines again is easy on the eyes.

A short summary of the paragraph in bold print is very helpful and allows a quick review and maintains the flow of ideas.

Classification
The 291 paragraphs (abbreviated §) of the Organon are divided into 12 chapters. Each chapter is then subdivided into sections. For example, §§ 1 to 71 are collected in Chapter 1, entitled PRINCIPLES OF CURE, while §§ 1 to 7 form a section entitled "The highest ideal of a cure."

This method was used by Drs. Pierre Schmidt and Jost Kunzli in the French translation of the Sixth Edition, and it proved very helpful to the reviewer in previous years because in this way the Organon is not so overwhelming and is, in fact, broken up into simpler blocks that makes for fuller, easier and more comprehensive learning.

Review
I was very happy to see this classification because I had used the Schmidt / Kunzli classification from the French translation and put it into my notes and my copy of the Boericke / Dudgeon sixth edition to facilitate understanding of the Organon.

The table of contents lays out this classification very well, except that Hahnemann's paragraph numbers are not listed for each section, which I believe would make referring to a particular paragraph more convenient. For example, I would have liked to see the section DISSIMILAR DISEASE in Chapter 1 have §§ 35-42 written next to it in the table of contents. Many of us learned the Organon by the paragraph number (and journal references often only give the paragraph number of the Organon). However, a 12 page synopsis (that originally appeared as Hahnemann's original table of contents in the sixth edition) is also included.

Translation
This is a new translation by Steven Decker and this translation is more literal versus the more conceptual translations done previously. In a literal translation an attempt is made to have all the significant words in a sentence carry not only the same primary meaning, but also the same connotations for the reader. This is much harder to do than a conceptual translation in which concepts are identified in each phrase and then expressed in English.

In this translation many paragraphs of the Organon have the original German word which is then amplified in a wonderful glossary.

Example 1: The German word Wesen (pronounced VAY-zun, rhymes with raisin) is translated as Wesen and explained as a dynamic entity, such as: 1.) the life principle or vital force of man (§§ 9,10 etc.), 2.) the essence of disease (§ 7), 3.) the vital forces of medicines (§§ 20,21). Hahnemann wants us to understand that the three objects above mentioned are all of the same nature; they are all dynamic; i.e., "spiritlike" or "virtual" (sense used in physics, such as an electric field or magnetic field or gravitational field). These Wesens are all operating on the same plane of existence. This idea of sameness in the Wesen of the vital force of man, Wesen (essence) of disease, or Wesen or vital force of medicine is lost when translations translate the Wesen of disease and medicines with one word and the Wesen of man (vital force of man) with another word. In fact the Boericke / Dudgeon translation translates Wesen as 1.) the internal essence of disease (§ 7); 2.) immaterial being (§ 10); 3.) a thing (reference to disease, § 13); 4.) the inner nature of medicine (§ 20 ); 5.) the curative principle in medicine (§ 21 ); 6.) the inner nature of life in health or disease-(§ 54), etc. Yet all these appear as Wesen in the original German.

Example 2: Befallment (from Zufall = coincidence; zufallen = to fall out) is used in § 86 in Hahnemann's guidelines for case and history taking (whereas the Boericke and Kunzli translations use the word "symptom"). It is explained in the glossary that "befallment" includes that which falls to a person, including accidents, coincidences, phenomena and symptoms (felt over a period of time or periodically), etc., as well those accidents that happen once in a lifetime (example: stroke, injury, etc.). In this we see that the focus of § 86 now becomes much broader. Indeed, the Master teaches us to look not just at "symptoms" (as the Boericke or Kunzli translations bring forth), but at phenomena in the patient's life in order to arrive at an understanding and a clear view of his disease. This is a wonderful literal translation of the noun "Zufall," which now brings out more clearly a more wholistic meaning of the word "symptom."

The entire translation is full of these exciting "new" discoveries (even to experienced readers of the Organon), and, thus, through this translation of Mr. Decker a deeper understanding of the Organon will come to us. We should all be very grateful to Mr. Decker for the literal translation and to Dr. O'Reilly for the text adaptation and editing, and for the Glossary and Index of this new Organon.

Errors and Omissions in the Boericke / Dudgeon and Kunzli Translations
One will discover much to one's chagrin that the Boericke translation contains errors and omissions. For example, Boericke omitted footnotes to §§ 220, 256, 265 that were added by Hahnemann in the correction of the fifth edition. (These footnotes are found in the Kunzli translation.) The point is that Boericke's translation of the sixth edition is 85% of Dudgeon's translation of the fifth edition unchanged and 15% of the changes made by Hahnemann in creating the sixth edition from the fifth edition. Thus, Boericke only translated the new material (that Hahnemann added to, or changed in, the fifth edition) and Boericke did this with certain errors and omissions. This translation has avoided all these pitfalls.

That Boericke's translation had errors was pointed out in Kunzli, but it was not specified where these shortcomings were; also Kunzli made no comparison of his English translation with his French translation (with Schmidt). Furthermore, Hahnemann's introduction is missing in the Kunzli translation. This omission is regrettable since that introduction not only gives a good flavor of the darkness and evil ways of medicine as it was practiced in Hahnemann's time (and also points out some of these same qualities of modern allopathic medicine today in 1996), but it also contains homeopathic gems of real value to the homeopathic practitioner useful in his daily practice even in 1996. Again, it is delightful that Dr. O'Reilly and Mr. Decker have included this valuable introduction of the Master, thereby preserving his immortal work in its totality for posterity.

Glossary
The glossary contains every significant word in the translation and gives the German, Latin or Greek word from which it was translated and the definition of that word. This is truly a fine feature because it allows the reader to look up a word in the glossary, find from which German word it is translated and the meaning of that word, thereby tracking Hahnemann's use of the term, and come to his own conclusion about why and when he used that word. 'This glossary thereby enables a deeper understanding of the Organon to the non-German speaking reader.

Index
This is a 40 page index and it is obvious that Dr. O'Reilly thoroughly enjoyed compiling it. The numbers in the index refer to page numbers, not to the paragraph(§) numbers. A note to that effect should appear on every page in the index. I would have liked it better if the references in the index would have been to the paragraphs as this would enable the reader to use this index more conveniently to compare various transiations of the organon. The index to the Schmidt / Kunzli French translation has such a plan. However this index is a very fertile one and has most of the important concepts in it. The vigilant reader will no doubt add to it as he reads and rereads the Organon.

Conclusion
Here then is a literal translation (at least as literal as possible) of the Organon of the Medical Art of Samuel Hahnemann which will satisfy the most erudite scholar, but what is more is that this O'Reilly / Decker translation of the Organon, if we study it over and over, will deepen our understanding of Homeopathy and make us better healers. Indeed, it will bring delight to our patients and to us. We will thus be "thrice blessed": 1) by the Creator of all good, 2) by our patients, and 3) by our Master as his soul leads us to greater heights of healing.

Many, many thanks to Wenda and Steven for a work done with love and passion.

JAIH Spring 1997, Vol. 90, No. 1

This book review is reprinted with permission from Homeopathic Links.

Reviewed by Jean Pierre Jansen, The Netherlands

This book is a completely revised translation of the 6th edition of the Organon.

Editing method
Steven Decker has made a new, complete translation of the Organon, choosing English words that are as close as possible to Hahnemann's original words and at the same time preserving the original imagery, colour and texture. He is qualified for this work because he is well acquainted with the German language of Hahnemann's time and with his thoughts on philosophy, which shares many elements with the philosophy of J.W von Goethe and others. (The foreword mentions S.T. Coleridge.)

Each German word was translated on a word by word basis, and then a second version was made that follows the structure of Hahnemann's sentences as closely as possible. Wenda Brewster then takes over the final translation by adapting Steven Decker's text into a modern English grammatical structure. Hahnemann's condensed style of sentence structure was expanded into a more intelligible style on many places in the text. Furthermore, she has clarified the formal structure of the Organon by dividing it into chapters and divisions. She has added interpretations of the texts and editor's footnotes as well.

An important part of the book is the added glossary which explains the meaning of specific English terms in the translation, by giving the corresponding German words and an explanation of their meaning. This is a fine new feature in the history of the Organon. The glossary also includes descriptions of the concepts that underlie the Organon. It gives the specific connotations that one needs while reading the Organon.

An extensive index of words and concepts makes the book accessible for daily reference. Glossary and index together occupy 117 pages!

A. von Lippe once said that the Organon never failed to give him advice in difficult situations. Now this can become a reality for us, normal practitioners too.

This is one of the books I've been waiting for for a long time. Having compared a modern Dutch translation, Dudgeon and Boericke's translation, and a German copy of the fifth edition I knew that there are many differences between these versions. Later on I saw that some ideas and concepts in Hahnemann's original writings have not come to the attention of the average reader and student of the Organon. I concluded that a mind as precise and literate as Hahnemann's would have thought about the meaning of every single sentence on more than one level.

The first example of this is the formulation of paragraph 1. Dudgeon and Boericke (1921) give: 'The physician's high and only mission is to restore the sick to health, to cure, as it is termed'. In my Dutch translation the word 'mission' is translated as 'calling', which I found a better translation of the German word 'Beruf'. (The German word 'rufen' means 'to call'.) Hahnemann apparently found it important to convey that the motivation of any physician should be of a surrendering nature: 'mission' sounds to forceful and would lead to fanaticism, 'calling' sounded better, because it contains the idea that the motivation of the physician is something that comes over him or her, yet at the same time gives total direction to his professional life, because inner principles are guiding him. It is a matter of being passive in an active way. This was the moment that I realised that Hahnemann's use of words and concepts was very much based on an awareness (albeit in his own words) of the concept of yin and yang, of 'male' and 'female' energies, or whatever terms one would like to use.

The book under review here fills the gap that was staring at me.

The Organon as a curative agent
An example of the use of the glossary: the word thorough is used where Hahnemann used the word 'grundlich', which means 'ground-like, from the ground on'. Then you can see that he uses words like 'to lift the disease', or, to find out 'the fundamental cause', which 'mostly rests upon a chronic miasm'.

Because there is no good English translation of this German word 'grundlich', the glossary gives the exact connotation which the reader should have when reading this word. Each glossary item refers to the place in the text where it is used. This enables the reader to trace Hahnemann's concepts to their fullest extent throughout the Organon. In this 'thorough' example one sees that Hahnemann uses a vertical image to convey the idea of totality of disease. Maybe he came to this image by his conception of the phenomenon of suppression, which has an underlying vertical image as well. When used in this way the translation opens the way to a much more intimate exchange with the ideas of the Organon.

This really appeals to me, because we can find a parallel in our understanding of the remedies. Remedy pictures can imprint their subtle differences on our mind, our feeling and our understanding in the same way. Some of our best Materia Medica texts convey the inner structure of a remedy through an intricate use of language. The only way we could better that is by having the experience of seeing live patients. The effect on me when I study the Organon this way is, that it brings excitement, trust in the perfection of Creation, and strength when I am struggling to find the totality of the suffering of the patient. In this sense Hahnemann has created in the Organon not only a doctrine which we can apply by using our intellect, but a kind of remedy as well, because it enables us to make contact with others levels of our sensory faculties. It can cure the homoeopath's delusion, that intellectual understanding on its own is enough to heal the sick.

A much richer Organon
Music is a particular important subject for me: the use of the word 'harmonious' in paragraph 9 and 16 is well known. The apotheosis of this image in the Organon is of course the footnote of paragraph 259, where he speaks of 'The softest tones of a distant flute...'. Steven Decker has shown that the Dudgeon and Boericke translation uses 'derangement' instead of 'mistunement' (Verstimmung) of the vital force, and uses 'altering' or 'affecting' for 'alteration of the tuning' (Umstimmung), and 'alternative powers' instead of 'retuning forces' (Umstimmungskrafte).

With the use of a musical image Hahnemann presents the idea that the action of the remedies (or any true healing force) is similar to the effects of music on the listener. A remedy has a certain vibration that influences the vibration of the mistuned vital force. In an interview with Wenda Brewster she refers to George Vithoulkas' idea of vibration in his book 'The Science of Homoeopathy', and to the concepts that are coming up in modern physics. One might think of the transition between energy, which is a.o. described in terms of frequency and amplitude, and matter, as formulated in the famous formula E=mc2, and compare this with the transition from matter to energy during the process of potentisation. The inner consistency of the ideas presented in the Organon, as seen in the examples above, shows us that homoeopathy is rooted in a profound insight in the life process.

This inner consistency is created partly by a consistent use of the same images in different places. The translation gives access to the multi level structures in the Organon.

To me this translation supports the idea that a formal language and words can encompass truth. The logic of materialism is only consistent on the intellectual level. The Organon, on the other hand, demonstrates that a logic that encompasses more levels of experience is possible. The history of philosophy shows that several men in search of truth have despaired because they could only conclude that a consistent logic, connected to all their levels of experience, was impossible. In this light Hahnemann's work is unique in the medical literature and this book opens a door to this insight.

There is so much to tell about this. This new edition of the Organon has opened my heart to homoeopathic philosophy even more. It shows that the Organon is written like the homoeopathic method itself, with a firm view of the totality while giving full attention to every detail. Webster O'Reilly and Decker have, in a scholarly manner, combined their homoeopathic and translating abilities to create an inspiring new edition.

Homoeopathic Links, Spring 1997

This book review is reprinted from the British Homoeopathic Journal Volume 86, July 1997, with permission from Peter Fisher, Editor.

Or means light in Hebrew-this new edition of the Organon truly shines brightly amongst the English translations of Hahnemann's masterpiece. It is the fruit of the labour of Wenda Brewster O'Reilly and Steven Decker. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly has a doctorate in Psychological Studies from the University of Stanford. She has conducted research on women's health care and childbirth practices as an affiliated scholar of Stanford's Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She is currently working as researcher and writer in homoeopathy. During her homoeopathic studies she fell in love with the Organon and made the analysing of the structure of this work her project on her course at the Dynamis School for Homoeopathy in London. This class project grew into a book.

Initially O'Reilly set out in writing her guide to the Organon using the translations by Dudgeon/Boericke and Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton. She wished to act as an editor for Hahnemann, giving the Organon the external structure that would make it more digestible for modem readers: chapters, a table of contents, an index and editorial comments. Comparing the translations of Dudgeon/Boericke and Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton she noticed numerous incongruities, as well as errors and omissions in the Dudgeon/Boericke translation, resulting from Boericke's translation of the changes made to the 5th edition. Dudgeon had made a good translation of the 5th edition. Hahnemann created his 6th edition by making hand-written changes to this. Boericke then used Dudgeon's translation, only altering and adding what Hahnemann changed, making numerous serious errors in the process. O'Reilly then relied on the Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton translation as it was conceptually correct. (Grimes MK. Interview with Dr Wenda Brewster O'Reilly. The American Homeopath 1995; 2: 110-115.)

In her edited and annotated version of the Organon O'Reilly has altered the text layout. She retained the format of paragraphs, breaking the text down into topic-related chapters. Long sentences are broken down, making Hahnemann's text more accessible. Editorial comments in the margins capture the essence of each paragraph and footnote. A comprehensive index makes navigation through the Organon in search of related topics and key words easy. Within the text, editorial clarifications give further explanations and cross-references to other paragraphs and footnotes. The number of a footnote in the main text coincides with the paragraph in which it appears.

As O'Reilly's understanding of German was limited, she turned to Steven Decker, amongst others, for guidance in her work. Steven Decker, an independent researcher and scholar with expertise in German and the philosophy of Hahnemann's contemporaries, notably Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, agreed to produce a completely new translation. He used the original 6th edition, which is in the Library of the Homoeopathic Foundation of California at the University of California in San Francisco. Using the original manuscript enabled Decker to see where additions have been made by subsequent editors and translators. Apart from Hahnemann's handwriting, others can be distinguished, 5 of them directly affecting the text. Some of the hand-written changes were clearly done under Hahnemann's supervision, as he hired scribes to update the 6th edition, and occasionally altered words in these passages in his own handwriting. Josef M. Schmidt published a text-critical edition of the Organon in German in 1992 (Haug Verlag), giving meticulous account of the alterations and additions. These additions (mainly Haehl's) were not included in Decker's translation unless they replaced lost or damaged sections and were consistent with Hahnemann's views. The original translation, which has each word of English above the German counterpart, will be available in computer format. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly worked closely with Decker to transform the text into clear modern English.

Overall it is a very successful translation, capturing the beauty of Hahnemann's language and expression much more closely than previous editions. In contrast to the most widely used Dudgeon/Boericke and Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton translations, Decker's translation is literal and not conceptual. Much thought was given to essential words, and where an important term could not be clearly translated from the German, it was retained in the text such as Wesen (essence, substance, creature, living thing, nature, entity), Geist (spirit) or Gemuet (emotional mind). This may initially disturb the flow of reading for the English- speaking reader unaccustomed to the German language. The German term is translated and explained in the excellent glossary together with other key words, illuminating the German word and illustrating its full depth.

My major criticism of the translation is the rather disjointed rendering of the word Heilkunst (literally healing art) as 'medical art' and Heilkuenstler (healing artist) as 'medical art practitioner'. Praiseworthy is the inclusion of the term 'art' both in the title and the text, as this is true to Hahnemann's work, and has not been taken into consideration by previous translators. I feel translating Heil with medical is moving away from Hahnemann's intentions. The word Medizin is commonly used in German, as well as in the Organon, but Hahnemann distinctly chose Heilkunst to distinguish his art from the current medical practice and Heilkuenstler from the physicians who merely practised medicine.

Apart from this the text is generally true to the German original, retaining its artistic quality, for example the musical theme running through the entire book. Hahnemann refers to the Verstimmung-mistunement of the vital force and its over-tuning Umstimmung through dynamic medicine. We can see a fine example of this in § 16 on comparing the German original with the different translations:

alle solche krankhafte Verstimmungen (die Krankheiten) koennen auch durch den Heilkuenstler nicht anders von ihr entfemt werden, als durch geistartige (dynamische, virtuelle) Umstimmungs-Kraefte der dienlichen Arzneien. (1992 Schmidt edition of the Organon)

all such morbid derangements (diseases) cannot be removed from it by the physician in any other way than by the spirit-like (dynamic, virtual) alterative powers of the serviceable medicines. (Boericke)

The physician can remove these pathological untunements (diseases) only by acting on our spirit-like vital force with medicines having equally spirit-like dynamic effects. (Kuenzli, Naude' and Pendleton)

the only way the medical-art practitioner can remove such morbid mistunements (the diseases) from the dynamis is by the spirit-like (dynamic, virtual) tunement-altering energies of the serviceable medicines. (O'Reilly and Decker)

It would have increased the value of this edition as a text book to include a brief historical overview of Hahnemann's life, which I particularly valued and enjoyed in the German version of Haehl's edition. This sets the tune of the beginning of the symphony that grew into Hahnemann's magnum opus and homoeopathy as a healing art.

The book is beautifully laid out. Paragraphs, footnotes and editorial comments are clearly distinguished, and are very pleasing to the eye. Wenda Brewster O'Reilly and Steven Decker have accomplished a tremendous task with an excellent translation, arrangement of the text and inclusion of a glossary, which is a real treasure containing many jewels. Through their work they have unlocked and revealed the depth and beauty of Hahnemann's work of genius for the English reader. It is a 'must to read' for all homoeopaths, as it truly captures what Hahnemann wanted to convey.

GABRIELA C. RIEBERER

British Homeopathic Journal
Volume 86, July 1997